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Jamaican Maroons trace lineage in Freetown

Two people from the Community of Flagstaff formally Trelawny Town in Jamaica: 63 year-old Mr. Kenute Cameron and 25 year-old Miss Nicole Ferguson, are presently in Freetown on a Flagstaff Heritage Tour and Trail Project.
The project is to determine the origin of their ancestors and reconnect with a side of their family not spoken to for nearly two centuries.
At a Press Conference held at British Council yesterday, the two visitors revealed that their adventure has so far been fruitful as they have recorded and recognized part of their heritage in all the areas they have visited since their arrival in Sierra Leone.
Miss Fergusson said that they have done documentaries as they moved around cemeteries, museums, artifacts and Churches such as St. John Maroon Church, tracing their lineage and connection with Sierra Leone, Freetown in Particular.
“When I visited the Ascension Town cemetery, I saw names written on graves that are familiar names in Trelawny Town. I have also seen people whom we all share the same names.” Ms. Ferguson said.
Mr. Kenute Cameron said that all what they have gathered during their adventure will be distributed in schools and other institutions in Maroon Town, Jamaica so that relevant information will be passed on from generation to generation.
Both Mr. Cameron and Ms. Ferguson have said that they have plans to come and stay in Sierra Leone as their ancestral land some day.
The Trelawny Town Maroons from the Island of Jamaica, are in Sierra Leone from the 20th July to 7th August, 2011.
This is the latest chapter in a trans-Atlantic odyssey for people with famous names but an often confused past.
Following the second Maroon War in 1795-96, almost the entire Maroon population of Trelawny Town, was deported from Jamaica first to Nova Scotia and then to Sierra Leone.
In Sierra Leone, the Maroons were instrumental in setting up the new colony. Despite their success, they never gave up their desire to return to Jamaica.
Finally in 1840, scores of Maroons made the trans-Atlantic return voyage to their home in Jamaica. Although never again officially recognized as a Maroon Community.
These Maroons secretly preserved their oral tradition and dreamed that some day all the Trelawny Town Maroons would be reunited. Since 2007, the Cockpit Country Local Forest Management Committee (CCLFMC) has worked to make that dream a reality.
The trans-Atlantic Maroon connection project is sponsored by the CCLFMC and funded by the Commonwealth Foundation.
It is also supported by the British Council as an outgrowth of other cultural preservation efforts made by the CCLMFC, such as the Flagstaff Heritage Tour and Trails project.
The project hopes to develop alternative sustainable livelihoods for the people of Flagstaff through sustainable heritage tourism.
By Poindexter Sama

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